opinionBy Goodson Nguni
Harare — My good brother Bornwell Chakaodza, the former director of information, the former editor of The Herald, the former short-lived managing director of Zimpapers and former secretary for information for Zanu-PF (Mashonaland Central), would have us all believe that democracy is all about elections if you read his articles in the Financial Gazette.
Elections are just an aspect of the democratic process and political parties and civic groupings compete in this political process called democracy by use of propaganda, crude or normal, to sway public opinion. But for you to ascribe certain standards for the information discourse is not correct.Though I will also invoke Voltaire's now hackneyed declaration "I disagree with you, but will defend to the death your right to say it".I rise in defence of the war veterans for two reasons; they don't have a newspaper and because the war veterans did what you and I did not do Bornwell.
The war veterans made it possible for you and I to reach heights unimaginable for black people in this country under the control of people like Roy Bennett, David Coltart and Giles Mutsekwa, all former members of Ian Smith's army and now members of the MDC executive. The war veterans, Bornwell, gave the ultimate sacrifice to achieve this independence -- their lives.
The war veterans know why they sacrificed their lives to go to Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique for military training to fight for this Zimbabwe.Ask any war veteran, the war was about sovereignty and the land and nothing else. All the rigmarole about human rights, information and good governance is secondary.To have these secondary rights you must have sovereignty and be in the geographical place called country identified by the land. That's where commentators like you get it wrong. Zimbabwe cannot be a mirror image of Britain or the West.
For one Zimbabwe is only 27 years old into this democratic process and Britain and the West have been in the process for hundreds of years and still do not get it right (American elections have already failed the test).A little lesson in history is very appropriate. There have been many wars fought over land worldwide. The war veterans understand that the current problems and challenges are linked to the land question and sovereignty and that is not Zanu-PF propaganda.It is what the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act says Zimbabwe must forsake before the US president lifts sanctions and the trade embargo on Zimbabwe.A specific clause in this Act says that no US citizen may take a decision as a director in any multilateral world body like the IMF or World Bank without committing an offence in support of Zimbabwe.
The war veterans understand that there is currently a President who is not likely to strike a deal that will reverse the two most important issues dear to most war veterans, sovereignty and land. The President of Zimbabwe, Cde R.G.Mugabe, is the one leader who has been identified by most war veterans as the one who will prosecute this Third Chimurenga stage to its logical conclusion.Bornwell, I agree with you on the issue of the former Minister of information, Jonathan Moyo but I must disagree with you on the accuracy of some of your assertions.Jonathan Moyo was not the Minister of Information but the Minister of State (Office of the President) for Information and Publicity.
Secondly, Moyo's mandate was not to ensure Zanu-PF won elections by hook or crook in 2000 and 2002. The reason is simple for the former minister was only appointed in 2000 after the elections.Thirdly, he carried out a purge of reactionary elements in the media and it appears he did okay in your case for you parrot imperialist jargon week after week. Fourthly, he did not hand-pick young journalists, inexperienced and impressionable into unexpected positions of leadership with attendant perks as you allege.
Pikirayi Deketeke and William Chikoto are not young and inexperienced journalists but are probably two of the most experienced journalists in Zimbabwe, if not the region (with the exception of Sunday Standard editor Davison Maruziva).They boast more years in journalism than you do. You Bornwell were the one who was less qualified to be editor of The Herald. You are the one who was catapulted to that position with no experience or knowledge of how to run a newspaper. This is why on your appointment the first thing you did was to buy a new set of sofas and filling the office bar with beers.
Bornwell, you are the one that makes it imperative to have POSA and AIPPA for we cannot have a journalist who can't go beyond blind loyalty to the imperial agenda. The US government has made known its diabolic plan for illegal regime change in Zimbabwe and they have said they are working with journalists from the so-called independent media.
When you write your weekly diatribe against this Government, Zanu-PF and the war veterans or anybody that supports the Third Chimurenga, you are simply playing the role of blind loyalty to the imperial agenda against Zimbabwe.
Are you one of the journalists that is working with the Americans and the British to achieve regime change in Zimbabwe?You dare accuse the so-called State media of carefully manipulating information released to the gullible public in such a manner that contradictory views are shut out.But Bornwell you are accused number one for you are churning out contradictory views about the Third Chimurenga in the vain hope that the atrocities of the Rhodesian army will be forgotten and praying for the resurgence of the worldwide Rhodesian lobby in the Movement for Democratic Change.
If you think that State media journalists are instructed what to write by George Charamba and you have no kind words about him, I have to ask you Bornwell: "Is this fallout not linked to your time as Director of Information and he was Press Secretary to the President?
That jealous and envy is still haunting you. George Charamba is doing his job with distinction and that's why you dislike him and you expected this Government to just lie down as you do to your master's bidding weekly.Bornwell, those of us who are opposed to the revival of Rhodesian power as represented by the MDC will contest the news space vigorously and will tell the other side to the current Zimbabwe challenges.
You allege that support for Cde Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the media (state) is immoral. Coming from someone who used to be Secretary for Information (Mashonalnd Central) Zanu-PF and someone who lobbied all and sundry within Zanu PF to reverse Jonathan Moyo's (support) for your dismissal as editor of The Herald only shows sour grapes.Bornwell, the war veterans are the final defenders of the democracy they ushered in Zimbabwe. They died for it while the Rhodesians like Coltart (MP), Bennett and Giles Mutsekwa (MP) from the MDC were willing to kill for the continuation of white supremacy.
Bornwell, the statement by the security forces in 2002 has not been rescinded and it still is a straitjacket (the Presidency) ask the Turkey security services when they intervened to stop the foreign minister standing for election as president of Turkey. The reason was that he threatened the secular nature of Turkey as he is an Islamist.They said: "The armed forces of Turkey are the final defenders of Turkey's national values and an Islamist cannot be president of Turkey. Europe, US and Australia did not condemn the statement. I wonder why. Maybe, it's because Turkey is too close to Europe and Nato.Lastly, I leave you with these words that you wrote when you were Editor of the Herald. "The Rhodesian owners of the Zimbabwe Independent cut their teeth in the Cold War and unfortunately got their teeth stuck and fossilised there..
"Wake up Rhodesian dinosaurs! The Cold War is dead, so is Pravda, poor good old Trevor (Ncube, then editor of the Zimbabwe Independent) the acceptable face of the beast, the mega lips of the monster."The Independent had the temerity to tell us what we should write, even the question we should ask in our interviews. Those dinosaurs frozen on the kopje do not have the slightest understanding of the basic tenets of the operations of the media in a free atmosphere, analysis, interpretation and opinion competing in the market place. Put simply, we write what we believe our readers want to read. You do the same for your readers.
"Trevor, you only betray your, nay, your handlers fascist tendencies when you try to prescribe to other media how they should write."It is a pity that Zimbabwe Independent is neither Zimbabwean nor Independent."It is absolute lunacy to think that those who opposed the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe can now be expected to be guarantors of our independence and freedom in post-independent Zimbabwe."
And Bornwell you dare accuse the so-called State media of misinformation and you dare instruct what they should write. Eat your own words.
l Tomorrow we will be featuring Bornwell Chakaodza's editorial attacking the then editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, Trevor Ncube, before humiliating himself by asking him (Trevor Ncube) for a job at the Standard after being booted from the helm of The Herald.